Managing Brokers: to sell or not to sell?

by Jason Porterfield

There are many ways managing brokers may serve their agents. And depending on who you ask, handling their own sales may or may not be one of them.

Mike McElroy has been the owner and managing broker of Center Coast Realty since 2009. Last year, he completed 16 transactions, but he intends to scale back his own sales to focus on coaching the agents who work for him.

“You’re using your experiences to help your agents and they’ll appreciate that,” McElroy says. “If you’re just chasing extra income for yourself and neglecting them, they’re going to resent it. That’s not really being a managing broker. That’s not wanting to work for anyone else and trying to get somebody to pay for your overhead.” He, like many in the industry, sees strident competition between managing brokers and their agents as a major potential problem.

Many prominent brokerages don’t allow their managing brokers to continue to sell, or require them to limit their selling activity to friends and family and select referrals. But the question of whether or not managing brokers should sell doesn’t always come down to the pitfalls of potential competition. There are other factors to consider, like office size, demands made on managing brokers’ time and energy and, depending on the arrangement, legal considerations.

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